In sorting through some boxes from my previous life (finally!) I came across some scruffy notes containing some reflections on leadership. With it coming up to the one year anniversary of moving on from a senior leadership role as Principal of Carey Baptist College, I thought to myself ... why not?
Drawing on all that I have learned and loved and laboured with in the leadership life - and in no particular order - here would be twenty imperatives that come to mind:
1. TRUST: invest it
It operates like a bank account, needing plenty of early and slow deposits before the troubled season of withdrawals comes.
2. VISION: facilitate it
It is less about discovering and directing it myself and more about drawing it out from others and then discerning together which way to go.
3. PERCEPTIONS: accept them
They are often so wrong, but always so real and therefore needing to be treated as right.
4. POWER: share it
The goal is to lead without displays of power largely because responsibilities, and not just tasks, are delegated fully.
5. INFORMATION: forward it
If it is not really confidential, pass it on as early and as fully and as widely as possible. Withholding information is one of the great abuses of power.
6. GOD: submit to him
It is worryingly common for division within a community to be an extrapolation of a leader's own lack of submission to God.
7. EMOTION: replenish it
It is not so much a physical or mental or even spiritual struggle - as it is an emotional one.
8. PRONOUN: delete it
With every public communication, written or oral, give it one final edit to remove the "me/myself/I"s and replace them with the "we/us"es.
9. SELF: know it
It is not narcissistic self-absorption to recognise your own rhythms, wiring, personality, weaknesses - and then have the grace of the One with whom you do not need to be defensive come and touch, and transform, it all.
10. LEADERSHIP: demystify it
'Every Christian is called to be a follower of Jesus and a leader of others'.
... to be continued ...